What is Copper Forging?
Copper Forging is one of the major copper forming processes that deforms the shape of copper bars under high pressure to achieve desired shapes and dimensions. Forging of copper alloys can eliminate the defects of loose casting state and optimize the microstructure of the copper components produced in the smelting process. At the same time, the mechanical properties of copper forgings are generally better than those of copper castings due to the preservation of complete metal streamline.
Typical process of small copper forgings is mainly closed die forged under high temperature, which we usually call hot forging. Here are some details of copper hot forging process: Like other metal forgings (steel forging or aluminum forging), forging tooling or dies will be first designed and made according to the drawing or sample of the forged copper product. Then, cutting copper bars to require length and heating them in an induction heating furnace to a certain high temperature. Next, put heated copper bars under forging dies and press them with high pressure to desired shape. In this step, we can see a copper forged blank that is close to the shape of final product. Finally, remove the flash of copper forging blanks under press machine and shot blast them to get net shape or near net shape copper forgings. Kindly note that, due to the limitations of forging process, sometimes the forging of copper alloys can not meet the dimensions or tolerances requirement of the final product, in this case, post machining can be operated to remove the excess material and reach the dimensional tolerances. If there is a higher surface finish requirement, we can also meet by other surface treatment methods.
Types of Copper Forging Alloys
Pure copper forging has the best electrical and thermal conductivity of any commercial metal. Today, over half of the copper forgings are used in electrical and electronic applications and this leads to a convenient classification of the types of copper into electrical (high conductivity) and non-electrical (engineering).
Brass is the generic term for a range of copper-zinc alloys with differing combinations of properties, including strength, machinability, ductility, wear-resistance, hardness, colour, hygienic, electrical and thermal conductivity, and corrosion-resistance. Brass forgings, less copper content, are more widely used for its less material cost than other copper forgings.
Bronze is the alloy that adds tin or lead in pure copper, with special significance and historical significance, compared with pure copper (copper), the bronze has high intensity. Bronze has good forgability, abrasion resistance and chemical stability. Bronze is characterized by low melting point, high hardness, strong plasticity, wear-resistance, corrosion resistance and bright color. Suitable for forging all kinds of appliances, machinery parts, bearings, gears, etc.
Why Use Copper Forging?
Forging can improve many of the intrinsic properties of copper alloys. For example, forging can increase the working performance of copper products. It may occur that the copper component can be manufactured by both forging or casting. By comparison, forging can help to increase the strength and the impact and abrasion resistance properties of brass and copper.
For the advantages of heat and electrical conductivity, malleablity and ductility, machinability and wear resistance, copper forgings are popular in industrial applications . Copper beryllium alloys are non-magnetic and corrosion resistant in addition to excellent heat and electrical conductors. Products manufactured from copper forging are able to withstand high temperatures and higher loads than other metals. They are also able to perform well in high stress applications with lower unexpected failures than materials manufactured using other methods.
Copper forgings are used in all industries in a wide range of products from electronic components to marine equipment. Products manufactured using copper alloys include:
- Electronic components, including connectors
- Power plant applications
- Refrigeration equipment applications
- Pump and valve components for high wear and corrosive environments
- Seals and gaskets for high wear, high temperature and corrosive environments
- Fittings for high temperature equipment
- Electrical assemblies, including connectors, fittings and caps